Green hair algae and cyno in reef tank

Rabald

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Hi all,

I run a 33 gallon /125liter reef tank without a skimmer and only with a refugium in the sump. I have Cyno and green hair algae in the display tank. Do I increase the lighting time of the refugium so my cheato can outcompete the green hair algae? My nutrients values are already low of the tank and i don't want dino's.
Cyno is present, but I would say not excessivly.

Waterparameter at the moment are
Phosphate: 0,027
Nitrate: not detectable
calcium: 400
KH:7
Ph:7

Thank you in advance.
 

Timfish

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I would raise you're phosphate, you might have enough organic and particulate phosphorus but we can't easily test for either and 0,027 is at the threshold identified by researchers for aquarium corals. FWIW 0,03 mg/l minimum threshold level identified by Southampton University in England. Since they determined it by looking at phosphorus deficiency in corals maintained in aquaria for up to around a decade seems like a definitive lower number until we can quantify particulate and dissolved organic P used by corals. Upwelling can expose to corals to 0,3 mg/l so that seems like a fine number for an upper limit for an aquarium. However, Dunn, et al showed increased growth with moderate levels of 0,5 mg/l.

I've been running skimmerless for decades and the two things I do to deal with nuisance algae is manual removal with water changes (5% - 10% weekly max) and using herbivores, especially urchins. (The idea comes largely from Martin Moe's research but it was gratifying to see this basic technique being used to restore wild reefs.)
 
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Rabald

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So if I understand you correctly, I should let it creep to 0,05mg/l? In my case I would have to lower the lighting time on my refugium?

How big are your aquariums? Never had a urchin, do you recommend a specie?
 

DDenny

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Are you sure the pH is correct that is really low. I had problems in my tank until I got my PO4 to 0.08- 0.1 and NO3 to 10-15ppm. I have a 25g AIO with a refugium bask with chaeto and typically my nutrients are pretty spot on every time. I adjust the refugium light lenght if nutrients get low to 8-9 hours at night or if they go higher I increase it to 11-12 hours at night. Havent found that happy middle ground yet. Sometimes I do have to dose a little phosphorus .4-.5ml of seachem phosphorus to help keep it in check. I also have a ton of CUC in a 25g tank.

Edit. I have 6 astrea snails, 8 florida cerith snails, not sure how many dwarft cerith (they reproduce like crazy) and 3 Nassarius snails. Thinking of adding a conch for the sandbed as well and few more larger cerith snails. I feed a little heavy as well. pellets on an auto feed three times a day and frozen in the evening. Corals get a little coral frenzy twice a week.
 

Timfish

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Feeding more is the best way to increase PO4. Corals preferred form of nitrogen is the ammonia and urea excreted by fish and fish poop has carbonate crystals that are essential parts of the carbonate cycle in reefs. I wouldn't change any lighting schedules myself.

I prefer shortspine urchins like the Tuxedo or Royal or caribean pink or green shortspine but the diadem long spine are a good, if painful to handle, option. DOn't get pencil urchins as they don't seem to care what they munch on.

Here's a thread and videos of some of my skimmerless systems:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/skimmerless-since-1997.643685/page-3#post-12604128

90 Gallon Mixed Reef


500 gallon


220 Rimless 450 view
 
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Rabald

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Feeding more is the best way to increase PO4. Corals preferred form of nitrogen is the ammonia and urea excreted by fish and fish poop has carbonate crystals that are essential parts of the carbonate cycle in reefs. I wouldn't change any lighting schedules myself.

I prefer shortspine urchins like the Tuxedo or Royal or caribean pink or green shortspine but the diadem long spine are a good, if painful to handle, option. DOn't get pencil urchins as they don't seem to care what they munch on.

Here's a thread and videos of some of my skimmerless systems:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/skimmerless-since-1997.643685/page-3#post-12604128

90 Gallon Mixed Reef


500 gallon


220 Rimless 450 view

Thanks! I will check it out!
 
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Rabald

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Are you sure the pH is correct that is really low. I had problems in my tank until I got my PO4 to 0.08- 0.1 and NO3 to 10-15ppm. I have a 25g AIO with a refugium bask with chaeto and typically my nutrients are pretty spot on every time. I adjust the refugium light lenght if nutrients get low to 8-9 hours at night or if they go higher I increase it to 11-12 hours at night. Havent found that happy middle ground yet. Sometimes I do have to dose a little phosphorus .4-.5ml of seachem phosphorus to help keep it in check. I also have a ton of CUC in a 25g tank.

Edit. I have 6 astrea snails, 8 florida cerith snails, not sure how many dwarft cerith (they reproduce like crazy) and 3 Nassarius snails. Thinking of adding a conch for the sandbed as well and few more larger cerith snails. I feed a little heavy as well. pellets on an auto feed three times a day and frozen in the evening. Corals get a little coral frenzy twice a week.
That's is a big CUC. Mine might be to small, 1 astrea snail, cleaner shrimp, 3 nassarius snails. After reading the feedback, I think I will invest in some more snails and a urchin.
 
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Rabald

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Feeding more is the best way to increase PO4. Corals preferred form of nitrogen is the ammonia and urea excreted by fish and fish poop has carbonate crystals that are essential parts of the carbonate cycle in reefs. I wouldn't change any lighting schedules myself.

I prefer shortspine urchins like the Tuxedo or Royal or caribean pink or green shortspine but the diadem long spine are a good, if painful to handle, option. DOn't get pencil urchins as they don't seem to care what they munch on.

Here's a thread and videos of some of my skimmerless systems:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/skimmerless-since-1997.643685/page-3#post-12604128

90 Gallon Mixed Reef


500 gallon


220 Rimless 450 view

These are your reef tanks? Beautiful! And these don't have any skimmers or other high end equipment?
 
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Rabald

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Do you have any powerheads in the tank besides the return? Algae and cyano love low flow area's.
Yes a small one, but I have a lot of rock. Cyano is mostly present on the parts where the flow is low. At the moment I made a habit of vacuuming it frequently. We just keep an eye on it.
 

Paul B

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I have Cyno and green hair algae in the display tank. Do I increase the lighting time of the refugium
I also have it. It ebbs and flows to a whim I know nothing about. But I also know it will disappear for awhile, maybe years, then come back. It is found on all healthy reefs in the sea. I just find it interesting and healthful.
But thats just me. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:



 

Timfish

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These are your reef tanks? Beautiful! And these don't have any skimmers or other high end equipment?

Yup, no fancy equipment. I like sumps or cryptic refugiums for the added surface area for gas exchange and for sponges that don't want light. Lighting on the Hidden Reef was custom designed by me and only uses Cree blue, royal blue, 6500K and 5000K leds.
 

GARRIGA

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Peroxide helped me reduce both although still need flow to fully combat cyano. Algae turned white making manual removal easier. In the end. Elbow grease solves just about everything.

I've also used carbon dosing to resolve both and perhaps a combination of those plus CUC and last those elbows best approach. Nature solves it with grazers.
 

Timfish

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Do you have any powerheads in the tank besides the return? Algae and cyano love low flow area's.

Circulation is as follows:

Build thread system - 1 return pump 900 gph, 2 air pumps
90 gallon system - 1 return pump 900 gph, 1 air pump
500 gallon System - 2 return pumps 5000 gph, 2 tunze powerheads
220 Hidden Reef - 2 return pumps 500 gph
 

GARRIGA

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Yup, no fancy equipment. I like sumps or cryptic refugiums for the added surface area for gas exchange and for sponges that don't want light. Lighting on the Hidden Reef was custom designed by me and only uses Cree blue, royal blue, 6500K and 5000K leds.
Getting intrigued with cryptic zone and sponges. Are they worth the real estate that would have gone to possibly a larger refugium? Still not up to speed on exactly what sponges provide that algae themselves fail to solve and algae remove co2 which in my home is a premium advantage I'm not sacrificing unless the cryptic benefits outweigh that by solving something else naturally. Goal is being as natural as possible and why sponges getting my attention.
 

Timfish

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Getting intrigued with cryptic zone and sponges. Are they worth the real estate that would have gone to possibly a larger refugium? Still not up to speed on exactly what sponges provide that algae themselves fail to solve and algae remove co2 which in my home is a premium advantage I'm not sacrificing unless the cryptic benefits outweigh that by solving something else naturally. Goal is being as natural as possible and why sponges getting my attention.

Here's a huge data bomb.

Short answer is corals and algae are at war with each other over space and nutrients. Even the algae simbionts can cause problems for corals when corals loose control over their growth. Sponges are key players moderating the roles DOC plays.

Algae re dumping DOCs into the water that promote excessive growth of heterotrophic microbes resulting in anoxic conditions in coral microbiomes. The heterotrophic microbes use the increased availability of the labile DOC to utilize the refractory DOC, typically about 2/3rds of the DOC on a reef, but this process results in lowered oxygen levels. It needs to be noted coral DOC, in excess, also causes problems. Algae DOC also promotes pathogenic shifts in coral microbiomes.

Sponges remove labile DOC 1000X faster than the bacterioplankton in the water. Sponges are essential recyclers and critical for reef ecosystems. Unfortunately, they process DOC from algae differentially from coral DOC. This can create feedback loops reinforcing algae dominance.

Here's "some" links, enjoy:

Feldman's work at Penn State:

Total Organic Carbon Pt 1

Total Organic Carbon Pt 2

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 1

Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 2

Elemental Analysis of Skimmate

Bacterial Counts in Reef Aquarium Water


Rohwer's book and some video links:

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas " This video compliments Rohwer's book of the same title (Paper back is ~$20, Kindle is ~$10), both deal with the conflicting roles of the different types of DOC (carbon dosing) in reef ecosystems and how it can alter coral microbiomes. While there is overlap bewteen his book and the video both have information not covered by the other and together give a broader view of the complex relationships found in reef ecosystems


Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes


Microbial view of Coral Decline


Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont


BActeria and Sponges


Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)


Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching


DNA Sequencing and the Reef Tank Microbiome


Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"


DDAM stuff:

Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae‐mediated, microbe‐induced coral mortality

Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism.
Coral DOC improves oxygen (autotrophy), algae DOC reduces oxygen (heterotrophy).

Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality

Effects of Coral Reef Benthic Primary Producers on Dissolved Organic Carbon and Microbial Activity
Algae releases significantly more DOC into the water than coral.

Pathologies and mortality rates caused by organic carbon and nutrient stressors in three Caribbean coral species.
DOC caused coral death but not high nitrates, phosphates or ammonium.

Visualization of oxygen distribution patterns caused by coral and algae

Biological oxygen demand optode analysis of coral reef-associated microbial communities exposed to algal exudates
Exposure to exudates derived from turf algae stimulated higher oxygen drawdown by the coral-associated bacteria.

Microbial ecology: Algae feed a shift on coral reefs

Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages.

Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching

Elevated ammonium delays the impairment of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis during labile carbon pollution
(here's an argument for maintaining heavy fish loads if you're carbon dosing)

Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton

Unseen players shape benthic competition on coral reefs.

Allelochemicals Produced by Brown Macroalgae of the Lobophora Genus Are Active against Coral Larvae and Associated Bacteria, Supporting Pathogenic Shifts to Vibrio Dominance.

Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.

Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.

Biophysical and physiological processes causing oxygen loss from coral reefs.

Global microbialization of coral reefs
DDAM Proven

Coral Reef Microorganisms in a Changing Climate, Fig 3

Ecosystem Microbiology of Coral Reefs: Linking Genomic, Metabolomic, and Biogeochemical Dynamics from Animal Symbioses to Reefscape Processes

Sponge stuff:
Element cycling on tropical coral reefs.
This is Jasper de Geoij's ground breaking research on reef sponge finding some species process labile DOC 1000X faster than bacterioplankton. (The introduction is in Dutch but the content is in English.)

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

Differential recycling of coral and algal dissolved organic matter via the sponge loop.
Sponges treat DOC from algae differently than DOC from corals

A Vicious Circle? Altered Carbon and Nutrient Cycling May Explain the Low Resilience of Caribbean Coral Reefs

Surviving in a Marine Desert The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs
Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen are quickly processed by sponges and released back into the reef food web in hours as carbon and nitrogen rich detritus.

Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)

The Role of Marine Sponges in Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles of COral Reefs and Nearshore Environments.

Here's an interesting paper on aurabiomes:
Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms

Phosphorus and Nitrogen Stuff:

Ammonium Uptake by Symbiotic and Aposymbiotic Reef Corals

Amino acids a source of nitrogen for corals

Urea a source of nitrogen for corals

Diazotrpophs a source of nitrogen for corals

Context Dependant Effects of Nutrient Loading on the Coral-Algal Mutualism



An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts
 

GARRIGA

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That's a lot to comprehend and process and did find some of this in other posts you've made. After reading much of that it still wasn't clear to me if it's worth the real estate but I'm going to try with a HOB and some live reef rubble containing sponges. Try sourcing it locally or grab some from Reef Farmers. Might also find some in the Florida Keys. Still negotiating our laws as to what exactly can be taken. Rocks I know off limits but not bottles encrusted with life my understanding. Not knowing which sponges can be exposed to air then I'll just be careful collecting and see how this all tests out. Wouldn't mind some photosynthetic types in the main and perhaps mixed in with the macroalgae.

Fair to assume sponges regenerate therefore could I just grab a chunk and drop it on top of some rubble and expect it would eventually attach? Assuming legal to do. Our FWC don't mess around.
 

TiltedReef

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Hi all,

I run a 33 gallon /125liter reef tank without a skimmer and only with a refugium in the sump. I have Cyno and green hair algae in the display tank. Do I increase the lighting time of the refugium so my cheato can outcompete the green hair algae? My nutrients values are already low of the tank and i don't want dino's.
Cyno is present, but I would say not excessivly.

Waterparameter at the moment are
Phosphate: 0,027
Nitrate: not detectable
calcium: 400
KH:7
Ph:7

Thank you in advance.
Blue Life's Flux Rx and Red Cyano RX works wonders. I recently dosed everyday for a week and wiped it all out.

Do 1 week of only Flux for GHA and Bryopsis
Then do 1 week of only Red Cyano RX

Make sure u have a crew of algae eaters to eat the dying algae before it messes with your parameters. My Royal Urchin and Caribbean Blue Hermits went to town when the forest of GHA and Bryopsis i had started dying off and left the tank spotless.

And suck up the cyano with a baster and remove from tank or blow it off rock work/sand bed to get sucked up by a skimmer once it starts browning in color from the supplement.

OH and bathe any powerheads, wavemakers, and pump outlets in 70% peroxide for 10 min and rinse then return to the tank. Especially if they are coated in cyano, these things will continue to spread the cyano around the tank if not dealt with.
 

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